For some moms, breastfeeding comes easy. But for others, it sucks. And not in the way you want it to.
Joy Hwang, a Los Angeles mom and illustrator, was having a difficult time connecting with her now 18-month-old daughter. Both her and baby spent nights in tears as she struggled to produce enough milk. To cope with her breastfeeding frustrations, she did what she does best: draw.
Her site Mom is Drawing was born shortly after baby was. She used this as a platform to illustrate daily life with a little one, featuring pictures of her traveling with baby, baby in the stroller or baby taking a selfie with mommy. Hwang also brought life to a more emotional motherhood struggle: breastfeeding.
She shared her story through her swift strokes.
“One of the hardest assignments I received as a new mom was to keep my baby alive with my boobs,” Hwang told The Huffington Post. “I’ve always imagined it would come naturally and magically, but it was quite the opposite.”
Hwang says her initial encounter with her daughter wasn’t a magical connection, but rather like an awkward first date. Still, she attempted to bond through breastfeeding. But after discovering her traumatic birth had hindered her milk production, she turned to formula and to the drawing board.
Fortunately, she created something quite beautiful and quite relatable.
Ultimately, Mom is Drawing helped Hwang sketch her way through this rough patch.
“It helped me to connect with my baby through the only way I knew how,” she explained. “Drawing her and sharing the art online has helped me find my tribe at my fingertips during the stretch of days when I feel isolated from the world I knew before my baby was born. Even on days filled with my amateur mom struggles, I had more inspiration to draw about them.”
If you’re struggling to nurse baby, check out our new mom’s guide to breastfeeding. Or maybe, take a tip from Hwang and cope through something you love.